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Correctional officers note fears of harassment and discrimination

When many people think off correctional officers, they think of people who are strong and in control since they are in charge of keeping inmates in order throughout the prison or jail. The sad fact is that many correctional officers are abused and harassed on a daily basis.

A study that was co-authored by a man from the University of Central Florida notes that correctional workers often feel like they are subjected to discrimination. An example of this is that non-white officers noted feeling more fear than what white officers noted. Non-white officers also had a lower morale than white officers.

When it came to differences between male and female officers, the female officers said they were more fearful when working in a male housing unit. These female officers noted that they were often subjected to unwanted sexual advances at the hands of the male inmates. Male officers seemed to report more fear if they were less educated. That seems to suggest that education might help boost correctional officer morale.

This study, as well as some other studies done by a criminologist at Eastern Kentucky University, have found that having good management at the jail or prison and having an adequate training program can help to make the job more satisfactory for correctional officers and reduce the fear of incidents.

It is important for all employees, even correctional officers, to understand that sexual harassment of any kind is unacceptable. Anyone who is being subjected to sexual harassment or any form of discrimination should learn how he or she can put an end to those illegal actions.

Source: The Marshall Project, "What Are Correction Officers So Afraid Of?," Dana Goldstein, July 13, 2015

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